MENA region to post second-fastest IT growth in 2015

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JEDDAH — Organizations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are early adopters of the technology innovations, as the wider region will post the world's second-fastest IT growth in 2015, SAP MENA's new Head of Customer Office said.

The Middle East and Africa's ICT spending is set to pass $270 billion in 2015, with the region's IT market growing nine percent, the second-fastest of any global region, according to research firm IDC. In particular, IDC predicts strong growth in Smart Cities, telecommunication and digital services, and security investments.

With global ICT growth on the rise, SAP predicts there will be 75 billion connected devices and 2.5 billion connections by 2020, unlocking an opportunity of $65 trillion in what SAP calls the "Networked Economy".

"Organizations in the MENA region are deploying the latest technology not simply because it exists, but rather to innovate new business models, radically simplify business processes, and deliver superlative experience to tech-savvy customers," said Sam Alkharrat, President, SAP MENA .

"Technology is becoming increasing vital as the region hosts mega-projects and mega-events like World Expo 2020 and 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, with ICT helping organizations to gain a competitive advantage and to drive the region's economy."

In anticipation of the increasing importance of customer innovation in the Networked Economy, SAP MENA has become the first in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) to open a dedicated Customer Office.

"By opening SAP 's first regional customer office, we're demonstrating our support for the Middle East's sustainable economic growth. We're helping our customers to accelerate innovation adoption and value realization, as well as to leverage best practices from around the world, while enhancing project delivery coordination and communication to senior leaders," said Frank Forndron, the newly-appointed Head of Customer Office, SAP MENA.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on March 8, 2015.

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